Public computers and Wi-Fi: Convenient...Yes! Secure...No!
How many times have you sat in a cafe on your own either waiting for someone, waiting till your next meeting or just having a much needed break...there's nothing in the paper and you don't want to look lonely so what do you do...
The reality is, that every time we connect to the internet we open ourselves up to security problems, whether that be at home, at work or in public. However there is a much greater risk in the public environment and it is when we are in this situation we need to be extra savvy to protect ourselves.
Spyware on public computers can capture our private information, online criminals on Wi-Fi connection can follow our surfing and potentially steal our passwords and read our sensitive emails. Then there's the common thief who may be into computer theft, when you back is turned.
By no means should we stop enjoying our coffee breaks or connecting whilst on the go as there are security steps we can take to limit the risk:
• First of all use your instinct, be vigilant, keep your personal belongings safe, close and never leave them unattended even for a second and be wary of who's around you in a cafe.
• Police are advising people to get Anti-theft Software which can help them to recover a stolen laptop and in tracking a mobile.
• Use a free online virus scanner before browsing on a public computer.
• Avoid confidential correspondence, online banking/transactions as much as possible; you don't want to make yourself vulnerable to identity theft.
• Keep your passwords private by turning off AutoComplete before browsing and then clearing all forms and passwords via the content tab before your session ends.
• Ensure you delete files, cookies and browsing history when you have finished.
• Turn off wireless connection when you are not using it.
• Stick to secure webpages especially if transmitting private information. (look for 'https' in front of web addresses and yellow padlock in the web browser frame)
• If connecting via your laptop ensure that your Antivirus protection is up-to-date and firewall enabled.
• If connecting to your corporate network use encrypted VPN.
Remember get into the habit of taking these precautionary steps above and browsing in public remains for your convenience but more importantly under your control!
For more advice on 'Protecting your digital Life', visit http://anti-
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Anti-theft Software offers you advice, information and protection for your Digital Life.